A FAMILIAR face will lead North Companions into the 2020 Premier League competition.
Jackson Zifodya will once again be at the helm of the club as head coach and will be aiming to improve upon the club's 2019 minor semi-final appearance.
However, Northies' side will look vastly different this season due to several younger players going off to university.
"I think this year's team will have a lot of younger guys in it," Zifodya told the Leader.
"We have started pre-season training this week, so it is a bit too early to tell who exactly will be lining up for us this year.
"However, we had really solid numbers come along to the first session, so it's looking pretty positive."
Northies will make up part of the new revamped Premier League competition, a concept Zifodya admits he's not sold on.
"In my opinion, I think it is a bit strange that we are starting later in the year (May 5) and we are playing less games, but the players still have to pay the same amount of registration fees," he said.
"As well as that, there is a chance we might loose a couple of players to the former first-grade clubs who will be stepping up into Premier League.
"I'm also a little bit worried about what the changes will mean for first-grade and what it will look like.
"I know our club did quite well in making the grand final in first grade last season.
"But it's unlikely any of those guys will want to play Premier League, due to the fact a lot of them have played before and they are playing locals as a way to take a step back.
"On that basis I'm not too sure how the season will pan out, or what it will look like.
"Regardless we are feeling really positive and will do whatever we can to be well prepared for the start of the season."
Zifodya said he was eager to set up several practice matches for his side during the pre-season.
"A big challenge for me will be keeping my guys focused on training during such a long pre-season," he said.
"I think the best way to do that will be to play regular friendlies against other clubs.
"Every year we play Oxley Vale Attunga in the pre-season, so I expect that one will happen again.
"As well as that, we have discussed maybe playing a couple of Armidale-based teams and possibly taking a trip down to Newcastle to play some teams as well.
"There's also the Johnson Cup to look forward to, which we will certainly factor into our pre-season planning."